ERIC Number: ED189670
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Influence of the MPAA's Film Rating System on Motion Picture Attendance: A Pilot Study.
Austin, Bruce A.
A study was undertaken to design and implement an experimental instrument for testing the influence of the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film rating system on movie attendance. Sixty-five high school students were given synopses of four different fictional films, each of which had been assigned an MPAA rating of G (approved for general audiences), PG (parental guidance suggested), R (restricted to viewers over 17, unless accompanied by an adult), and X (restricted to viewers over 17). The experimental manipulation consisted of varying the MPAA rating. Therefore, some subjects received a film that had been rated G while others received the same film with ratings of PG, R, or X. All subjects received one film synopsis for each category in the rating system. They then completed questionnaires concerning the likelihood of their attending each of the films. They were also asked to supply demographic information and information about their movie-going habits and to list the movies they had seen in the past six months. The results showed the experimental instrument to be valid. Results of the experimental manipulation were nonsignificant, indicating that for this group of subjects, the MPAA ratings did not affect likelihood of movie attendance. In addition, the findings showed that the subjects most often attended films rated either PG or R. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Motion Picture Association of America
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Speech Communication Association (Ocean City, MD, April 24-26, 1980).